Thursday, August 30, 2012

European stock markets august 30 2012

European stock markets august 30 2012 ; European shares continued to drift lower on Thursday, with investors reticent about lifting their exposure to riskier assets given uncertainty over the next moves by central banks and the outlook for the global economy.

FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.4 percent at 1,082.16 by 0848 GMT, having fallen 0.2 percent on Wednesday. Early volumes were thin, at 10 percent of the 90-day daily average

The Euro STOXX 50, meanwhile, shed 0.4 percent to 2,425.32. The index will find support at 2,418 points - a long-term descending trendline formed by its 2011 and 2012 peaks.

Investors will closely watch U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at the end of the week at an annual get-together that often hints at forthcoming monetary policy moves.

"As investors count down the hours to Bernanke's speech at Jackson Hole they are clearly not prepared to take any chances, preferring to look for safe havens where they can be found," Mike McCudden, head of derivatives at Interactive Investor, said.

"Furthermore, the ripple effect being felt from a stuttering China and the downturn in the Aussie mining industry will acutely impact the euro zone which already has enough on its plate to contend with."

Meanwhile, traders continued to focus on a European Central Bank meeting on Sept. 6 to consider a possible rate cut and a relaunch of its government bond buying programme to help to deal with the region's economic crisis.

Stock markets rallied sharply after ECB head Mario Draghi promised on July 26 to do "whatever it takes" to protect the euro from the region's debt problems. Equities have however failed to move much higher since mid-August.

"We're priced quite positively at the moment (for a potential ECB announcement)," said Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven Investment Management.

"Unless we are getting some clear messages (at the ECB meeting) that they are at least in clear agreement of the proposals, the markets could react badly ... We could see at least a 5 percent pull back."

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